Open letter to Episcopal and Spiritual Advisory Board of Caritas in Veritate International
On October 1, 2014, I filed a canonical complaint against Cardinal Dolan of New York for suppressing my slideshow/lecture about the Holy Shroud. In January of this year, the Facebook page of one of your “Strategic Partnerships” (NewApologetics.com) rejected my offer to discuss the history, science, and theology of the Shroud of Turin. I sent a letter of complaint to Cardinal O'Malley on January 14, 2015. This letter as well as my correspondence with the Roman Rota is at http://www.dkroemer.com.
My criticism of NewApologetics.com is entirely different from my canonical complaint against Cardinal Dolan. Cardinal Dolan is responsible for the salvation of his parishioners, and I felt obligated to tell the Holy Father that he made poor decisions about my slideshow. The behavior of owners of the NewApologetics.com is another matter entirely because these individuals are not responsible for anyone's salvation except their own.
Last week I attended a lecture by Galen Guengerich, who is the Senior Minister of All Souls Unitarian Church and the author of “God Revised: How Religion Must Evolve in a Scientific Age.” Dr. Guengerich showed a graph of church attendance from 1940 to the present day. There was a large increase in attendance in the early 1950s but the precipitous decline after that was shocking. His explanation for this decline is that churches are asking people to believe things that are not believable.
An example of something that is not believable is the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. Of course, there are many people who think this precious relic touched Jesus, just as there are many people who think Lazarus rose from the dead. In 2014, the Italy section of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers tricked the IEEE into sponsoring a conference on the Holy Shroud. I pointed out to the IEEE that only papers promoting authenticity were being selected, and the IEEE withdrew its sponsorship. I am proud of the role I played in protecting the reputation of the IEEE and the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church would have been implicated in this scandal because one of the organizers of the conference, Dr. Bruno Barberis, is an advisor to the Custodian of the Shroud of Turin.
Atheists say the Holy Shroud is authentic to give an explanation of the Resurrection of Jesus, and Christians say this to express their faith in Jesus. There are also those who are not interested in the Shroud of Turin because they don't believe in salvation.
I suggest that I explain on the Facebook page of NewApologetics.com in a moderated discussion why the Holy Shroud is not authentic and why knowledge of this is a valid scientific reason to believe in Jesus to supplement the many historical reasons.
Very truly yours,